Soft silhouette and curvy outlines form the design language of this Taizhou home by T.K. Chu as a response to the city’s ethos.
Perched on the east coast of Zhejiang Province, Taizhou is a beautiful, yet relatively unnoticed coastal city steeped in history, culture and nature. It is marked by a landscape of lush mountains, a river network rivalling that of Suzhou and Hangzhou, and a natural marvel, Tiantai Mountain, holy to both Tiantai Buddhism and “Northern” Taoism.
Such cultural significance and natural beauty have deeply inspired this four-storey residence by Taiwanese interior designer T.K. Chu, where he turns this 900 square metres of land into an epitome of curved aesthetics combined with oriental charm.
“I always study the culture of a place before I start a project,” says Chu, adding that Taizhou is a scenic city where brutalist and delicate, Taoism and Buddhism, as well as the past and present, coexist in harmony.
Such a concept of inclusiveness and harmony forms the backbone of the project. Dubbed “The Villa Greencore”, the home spans four levels – two underground and two above ground – with two entrances opening respectively on the ground level and on the lowest basement, which is dedicated to recreational and meeting purposes.
“Beginning at the entrance of the basement, an enticing landscape painting unfolds as you walk through the voluminous, undulating space connected by smooth, curvy forms.”
Entering the home, you’re greeted with a suspended abstract sculptural piece conceived by Chu himself. Titled “Spring up: Waltz”, the work flaunts wavy fluid silhouettes springing upwards in the air, teasing the fluidity that dominates behind.
Further in, a double-height reception room and banquet hall allows ample space for the homeowners to entertain with panache, ruled by graceful curved ceilings and walls to create a natural flow and harmony throughout.
“We employed soft silhouette and curvy outlines in the design language in this home to pay tribute to the beauty of the Taizhou city,” he says.
In the adjoining art space, his other sculpture art – “Spring up: Dance to the Wind” – interacts with the natural light that filters through a roof window from above. The rounded layered opening, reminiscent of a placid pound from the sky, delivers the key light source in this room that animates not only the sculpture, but also the entire room.
“Art, space and our lives have been evermore intertwined,” notes the designer, adding each piece of art in this home is strategically arranged to reinforce the design principles of harmony and balance of the project.
Intended for receiving guests, this floor also accommodates a chess room, gym, private gallery, a bar lounge, wine cellar, cigar room, and an entertainment area. To open up the below ground, five sunken courtyards have been deployed to bring a slice of nature in.
Upstairs, the main study features a mezzanine balcony that overlooks the banquet hall below. For better connectedness, a glass box has been strategically deployed between the study and the children’s playroom next door, where a smile-shaped window opens in the wall to borrow a view of the “Spring up: Dance to the Wind” sculpture downstairs.
“A strong family connection is deep-rooted in our culture as a key to a beautiful life,” he notes.
Such mindfulness to healthy living is well-reflected in the main public space on the ground floor. Across to the bright, cosy living and dining room sprinkled with designer furniture, an intimate tatami room, and the adjoining tearoom, function together as a sanctuary for the homeowners to escape from the daily grind.
Yet the key draw goes to the serene landscaped courtyard that centres the home, which can be viewed from every room on this floor as a thoughtful backdrop to instil a sense of peacefulness into the living space.
It connects to a standalone tea house that flaunts a traditional hip-and-gable roof on the outside with a crisp contemporary sloped ceiling on the inside, fitted with a carefully cut mirror to open up the space visually even further.
The top floor is dedicated to the master en suite, where the theme of soft silhouette continues, granting a gentle comforting touch to the sleeping space.
Chu concludes: “Creating this elegant residence with a Chinese-style courtyard in a city that brims with culture, inspires you to rethink the relationship between design and culture.”